A July Summer

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Those July evenings, the hot sun dangled on the edge
of a never ending day and simmered wet mud made
by squirt guns, a dank funk gripping the humid air,
attracting flies. Boney shirtless seven year olds, sticky
from sweat and sugar, stalked each other around blooming
bushes, took aim through fence posts, and fired streams of warm
plastic steeped water onto their unsuspecting prey. At times
they’d laugh at being caught, while at others they’d scream
at the injustice of being shot in the back by a friend, water
stabbing skin. Dusk spread mosquitos thick at days end,
feasting on high fructose little boy, forming itchy bulbs
for later. Red eyed and thirsty, they bounded in, their wet,
grass covered and itchy feet stretched prints across the kitchen floor
and into the living room where they left shadows of their wet butts and
bottle caps on the couch. Tucked inside herself, the agitated vestige
of a mother closed her eyes and traced the outline of childhood
from memory until, through laughter, she sat down beside them.

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